Most anglers have come across a northern pike at some point, whether they are ice or summer anglers. Some anglers may have targeted them, while others have caught them fishing for other species.

It’s shocking how many people haven’t tried eating Northern Pike. Many anglers avoid eating these fish in part because of all the bones and the hassle of cleaning them. You may have heard anglers refer to them as slime or snotty rockets, but despite the names these fish are given, they are delicious. Not only are they delicious, but they are a blast to catch. Pike are aggressive eaters, they fight hard and can grow to enormous sizes. In many lakes, they are plentiful and the need to harvest them in some lakes is crucial. Learning how to clean and eat this species can help keep lakes healthy.

If you’ve eaten Pike, you know they’re worth it. If you have never eaten Northern Pike, you should try them. They are fillets with a firmer texture, which hold up better to cooking and have an excellent flavor. Unlike other fish, the Northern Pike has a “Y” bone. This bone is the reason why many fishermen do not want to keep and eat them. However, with the right fillet knife and practice, removing this bone is not difficult. Having a sharp and flexible knife will make a world of difference. A flexible blade will allow you to bend the outline of the fish and bones. Smith’s Consumer Product’s RegalRiver 7” Fillet Knife and Super Flex 8” Curved Fillet Knife are great for removing Y-bones. The non-slip handle also ensures safety when filleting.


1. Fillet your northern pike as you would any other fish. Start by making a cut behind the front flipper. Cut up to the spine, but not through it.

2. Turn the knife to the side and cut along the spine to the tail.

3. Next, lift the steak and slice along the ribcage, separating the meat from the bones.

4. After you have completed one side, flip the fish over and do the same. You should now have two fillets. Cut the remaining rib bones.

5. Next, locate the Y-bone. Run your fingers over the fillet; you should feel them, or sometimes you can see them. They will look like white dots along the length of the fillet.

6. The first cut will be made at the top of the Y-bone. Cut down until you feel the bones, then turn the knife to the side and follow the contour of the bones. You will cut until you reach the end of the bones. After that, you can remove the piece of meat or leave it as a flap.

7. The second cut will continue along the back of the Y-bone. Finally, it will cut down and forward toward the top of the fillet, following the contour of the back of the Y-bone.

8. Once you do this, you should be able to remove the Y bones from the fillet.

9. Next, remove the fillet from the skin and you are done cleaning and ready to fry!




  • 1 cup Southern Zatarains Crispy Fish Fry
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • Milk (used to dip the fish)
  • Olive Oil (For Frying)
  • fresh northern pike
  1. In a bowl, mix Zatarains and cornmeal.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the milk.
  3. Cut the pickerel fillets into smaller pieces about 4 to 5 inches long.
  4. Dip the fish fillets in the milk and then in the dry mix.
  5. In a skillet, add enough olive oil, about 1/4 inch, to cover the bottom.
  6. Heat the oil and add the battered fish fillets.
  7. Fry until crisp.
  8. Put a paper towel on a plate, and then place the fried steaks on top to help with any excess oil.
  9. Toss together your favorite coleslaw or salad and serve your fish.



  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tablespoons Sweet Pickle Relish (you can add more to your desire)
  • 4 tablespoons Sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons. Lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Garlic Salt to Taste
  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl
  2. cover the bowl
  3. Chill in the refrigerator before serving


Smith’s Consumer Products is an Arkansas-based company that traces its history back to 1886. Smith’s produces the broadest line of knife and scissor sharpeners available, ranging from simple fixed-angle removable sharpeners for consumers who want quick and easy sharpening to sophisticated precision kits. Designed for the knife sharpening enthusiast. Our offering includes manual and electric sharpeners that incorporate many different abrasive materials, including diamond, carbide, ceramic, bonded synthetic abrasives, and of course, Arkansas natural stone. Smith’s Consumer Products Edge Experts also design and manufacture a wide range of tools for the outdoor enthusiast, as well as knives for everyday carry, tactical, shop, kitchen, hunting and fishing needs.